District 15 for the Texas State Board of Education covers 77 counties in Texas’s northern Panhandle. It’s oil (Midland), cotton, Texas prairie and small towns, and lots of schools, and some surprisingly good colleges and universities.
It’s a district where science plays a big role, and should play a bigger one. The 15th includes those lands in Texas where the Dust Bowl got started, where unwise plowing based on inaccurate readings of climate contributed to one of the greatest man-made natural resources disasters in all of history. It’s the home of Texas Tech University, where members of the chemistry faculty created a wine industry based on the chemistry of grape selection and fermentation, and where geologists learn how to find oil.
This area leads Texas in wind power generation, a considerable factor in the state that leads the nation in wind power generation.
In short, science, engineering and other technical disciplines keep this area economically alive, and vital at times.
Of the two candidates, Democrat Steve Schafersman is a scientist, and a long-time, staunch defender of science education (what we now cutely call “STEM” subjects: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). If the race were decided by a test in STEM subjects, Schafersman would be the winner. Schafersman lives in Midland.
The GOP candidate in the race is religiously anti-science, Marty Rowley of Amarillo. As a good-ol’-boy, former pastor, he’s got a lot of support from the usual suspects. Rowley’s views on science, technology, engineering and mathematics run contrary to the business and farming interests of his entire district. Do his supporters look to the future?
Do you vote in Midland, Lubbock, Amarillo, Dalhart, Abilene, San Angelo, Dallam County, Tom Greene County, Cooke County or Montague County? You need to vote for Steve Shafersman. Do your children a favor, do your schools a favor, and do your region of Texas a favor, and vote for the guy who works to make education good.
Shafersman is the better-qualified candidate, and probably among the top two or three people with experience making the SBOE work well, in the nation. He deserves the seat, and Texas needs him.
- Texas SBOE 2012 Election: Schafersman v. Rowley (sensuouscurmudgeon.wordpress.com)
- Texas Freedom Network Insider, “Texas Ed Board candidate advocates teaching creationism in science classrooms”
- Texas GOP candidates support creationism, posting of Ten Commandments in school rooms, contrary to law, science, and reality
- Shake-up possible for state board (mywesttexas.com)
- Evolution tops State Board of Education debate topics (amarillo.com)
- Providing accurate science, history information top priority for state education candidate (mywesttexas.com)
- Potential new faces on the Texas education board (star-telegram.com)
- Ideas for school vouchers are up in the air (gosanangelo.com)
- Democratic candidates Sadler, Schafersman in Abilene today (reporternews.com)
- Views vary for State Board of Education candidates (mywesttexas.com)
Steve Schafersman campaign flier:
Do you get the newsletter from the Academy of American Poets?
Monday’s newsletter included this list:
Poems of American Experience
- I Hear America Singing by Walt Whitman
- I, Too, Sing America by Langston Hughes
- Praise Song for the Day by Elizabeth Alexander
- America by Robert Creeley
- America by Claude McKay
- On Being Brought from Africa to America by Phillis Wheatley
- A Nation’s Strength by Ralph Waldo Emerson
- Election Year by Donald Revell
- In a Country by Larry Levis
- A Supermarket in California by Allen Ginsberg
People in some states complain that the liquor stores and bars won’t open on election day. So, try the next best thing, or the better thing, and read some poetry.
What works of poetry, or literature, or visual arts, strike you as appropriate for the U.S. election day? Which works would be most useful in school classrooms, to teach our young people about voting, how to vote, and why it’s important?
- Walt Whitman Poems: Election Day November 1884. Poetry Corner (newgrandmas.com)
- The Presidency, in Verse (theparisreview.org)
Stuff found on Tumblr. Nice sentifment from a winking jack-o-lantern.
Trick: Animated #govote jack-o-lantern to keep away the ghosts of low voter turnout.
Treat: Tell your friends to visit rockthevote.com to find their polling station!
animated gif by Bruce Willen
At the GoVoteNov6 Tumblr site:
Click here to find your polling station and if you’re eligible for early voting.
For more #govote images and to submit your own go to:govote.org
Another great episode of “Mr. Deity.” (Yeah, I’m several episodes behind. Don’t even get me started on catching up on “The Wire.”)
Every parent will empathize with the problem here, letting the kids do things on their own so they can grow up, and then seeing again just what it is they actually want to do . . .
Watch all the way through. The best stuff is in the fund raising plea at the end.
Tip of the old scrub brush to Pharyngula at FTB, for reminding me of this wonderful series. Do you ever wonder what the producers of this thing could do if they turned their attention to on-line videos on history, or economics, or molecular biology?
- Mr. Deity on Why Creationism is Appropriate for Children (patheos.com)
Former Secretary of State, Gen. Colin Powell, endorsed President Obama’s reelection today.
Correspondent Jim Stanley provides his count of GOP luminaries who endorse Obama in this election:
[H]ere are the ones I have tallied:
- Former Senator Larry Pressler of South Dakota;
- Former Reagan Budget Director David Stockman;
- Former Bush 41 Admin. Budget Director Bruce Bartlett;
- Former Rhode Island Senator and current Governor Linc Chaffee;
- Former Bush National Security Advisor Richard Clarke;
- Reagan Administration Asst. Atty. General Doug Kmiec;
- Former Florida Governor Charlie Crist;
- Former Nixon aide John Dean;
- Former Reagan Solicitor General Charles Fried;
- Former National Review Publisher Wick Allison; and
- From what I can see, former National Review columnist Chris Buckley has not issued an official 2012 endorsement but has said he has seen no reason to change his 2008 endorsement of Obama.
I don’t know if former Bush spokesman Scott McClellan will repeat his Obama endorsement. The only prominent Republican I know of who endorsed Obama in 2008 and has publicly switched his position is former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld. Former Senator and Governor Lowell Weicker has also re-endorsed the President. Now, Weicker, Crist and Chaffee officially left the GOP over its extreme rightward drift, but they have not become Democrats.
I added links. Interesting. Dear Reader, do you know of others?
- Powell Gives Obama His Endorsement for a Second Time (thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Colin Powell endorses Obama again (NPR)
- Colin Powell endorses Obama for second term (nbcpolitics.nbcnews.com)
- Colin Powell endorses Barack Obama for president (cbsnews.com)
- Colin Powell backs Obama (politico.com)
Use this calculator to see what Mitt Romney’s tax reform plan would mean for you, according to the details available at the campaign. Go to this site and follow the instructions.
I do love these interactive sites — especially that one, which offers a chance to see what’s really going on.